Skip to main content

1929 Van Ness Arch; Van Ness Avenue, Fresno California



Recently I decided to re-visit the Van Ness Arch after seeing a Google image of it blocked off by Union Pacific construction.  The Van Ness Arch was located just off of US Route 99/Railroad Avenue at the rail crossing on Van Ness Avenue in southern Fresno.

This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below.



The Van Ness Arch of Fresno

An archway at Railroad Avenue and Van Ness Avenue was first proposed by the City of Fresno along Legislative Route Number 4 (future US 99) first in 1915.  The original Van Ness Arch was completed in 1917 but only lasted to 1925 when it was damaged by fire.  The current Van Ness Arch dates back to 1929 and features an Arc Deco design.  The 1929 Van Ness Arch states the following greeting: "Fresno, the best little city in the USA, Van Ness Avenue."


Despite the Van Ness Arch being completed only by 1929 the alignment of US 99 shifted to the west off of Railroad Avenue to a wider rail approach into downtown by 1930.  At some point between 1930 the route of Railroad Avenue to the Van Ness Arch may have been signed as a US 99 business route.  Previously I covered the surface route of US 99 in Fresno on the blog below:

Hunting Forgotten History; US Route 99 in Fresno

The fate of the Van Ness Arch is uncertain as access to it will be eventually bisected by the High Speed Rail project.  Said project may also lead to the demolition of former US Route 99 on Railroad Avenue.  Back in 2013 the FresnoBee published a story regarding the history of the Van Ness Arch.

Fresno's Van Ness Avenue welcome arch

Comments

Unknown said…
Don't run the bullet train thru the arch area.This is an historic arch that needs to be preserved.If at all possible,move it a bit north on Van Ness.Once gone,history will be forgotten.

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, the color of your nearby fire hydrant matters...

...and here's why. You will find White, Red, Yellow and Violet colored fire hydrants pretty much everywhere.  But there's a reason for this - and it's because of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This association has issued guidelines for color coding standards for fire hydrants.  These color codes from the body of the hydrant, top of the hydrant, and in some municipalities the outlet caps are designed to allow fire fighters to know what type of system, water flow rate (Gallons Per Minute or GPM), and level of water pressure.  This guideline is known as NFPA 291 and is intended to be used universally throughout the United States. The NFPA guidelines are specific to the body and the top cap of the hydrant.  If a hydrant is WHITE or YELLOW - it means that it is connected to a public/municipal water system.  If a hydrant is RED - the hydrant is connected to a private system, typically a well.  These are most common in rural or unincorporated areas

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the